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Effectiveness of select committees

Published Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This note introduces the Liaison Committee's review "Select committee effectiveness, resources and powers" (November 2012) and the academic literature on the effectiveness of select committees

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In its 2009 report, Rebuilding the House, the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (the Wright Committee) recommended that “the Liaison Committee should re-examine the current role of select committees, their resources and their tasks, and in particular how to deal with the increasing demands of time made of Members as their role grows”.

On 8 November 2012, the Liaison Committee’s report, Select committee effectiveness, resources and powers, was published. The Committee reflected on the role of select committees and how they could do better at influencing Government.

Measuring the influence of select committees has proved difficult but some academic work has been undertaken. An assessment of the influence of select committees by the Constitution Unit, University College of London, fed into the Liaison Committee’s report.

On 24 January 2013, the Liaison Committee published responses to its report from the Speaker on behalf of the House of Commons Commission, from House authorities and from the Leader of the House of Commons. It described the responses from the House as “positive”, while “the response from the Government is mixed”.

The Liaison Committee noted that it had concluded its original report by stating that it would seek the support of the House. After it agreed to publish the responses, the Committee secured a debate in backbench business time. The debate is scheduled to take place on 31 January 2013.

Commons Briefing papers SN06499

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: House of Commons, Parliament

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